It was my fourteenth year on this planet when I discovered the simple beauty of nature. My scout troop and I went on a camping trip to El Capitan Mountain in New Mexico. As we neared the jutting backbone of southern New Mexico, I saw a dark green carpet of dense treetops spilling down the side of the mountain. After traversing the summit, we found ourselves in patches of pinewood forest so deep and shadowy the temperature dropped. Only occasionally did we see sparkling motes of light shining through the canopy. The rustling of the wind through the branches carried with it the smell of pine sap and the gingery smell of fall. After waking on the second day, we found a small, bubbling brook. This softly flowing spring had cold, clean water so crystalline to pass it up would be a crime. While taking part of this sparkling refreshment we heard splashing water, so we decided to investigate. We found a tiny piece of heaven hidden behind a mass of boulders shaped like a ham-hock fist. Beneath this fist of rock was a miniature waterfall that spilled over a small cliff to strike the rocks below. The troop decided this outcropping would be our palace for the night. Some time later I found a bed of pine needles lying under the arms of ancient redwoods. As I relaxed that night on my earthbound cloud, the clarity of the stars above reminded me of all the wonders I'd seen on my trek. I knew then that to find beauty in our world one needs only look around at nature's simplicity.